Simulator sickness (SS)-virtual environment (VE) sickness is expected to become increasingly troublesome as VE technology evolves. This paper investigated using an independent visual background (IVB) to reduce SS and VE sickness. The IVB is a visual scene component that provides visual motion and orientation cues that match those from the vestibular receptors. In this study, the IVB was stationary, fixed with respect to inertial space. Two experiments were conducted. The first experiment examined the differences in visual motion-induced postural disturbance as a function of simultaneous exposure to an IVB. Subjects exhibited less balance disturbance when the IVB was presented. An expected statistically significant interaction between IVB presence-absence and visual scene motion oscillation frequency was observed. In the second experiment, subjects reported less SS when the IVB was presented during the VE exposure. We suggest that an IVB may alleviate disturbance when conflicting visual and inertial cues evoke SS.

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